Along the Air Line... 2017 - Fall, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

November 1st.  First heavy frost at the marsh.

 

 

Arrived to see the last bits of a spectacular sunrise.

 

 

 

 

 

November 2nd.  A walk east from Cook Hill Road in Lebanon, past the dairy barns and marsh, as far as the power lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Woolly Bears (Pyrrharctia isabella) in several sizes, wandering...

 

 

 

 

 

...and feeding.

 

 

 

 

 

I think this is an early instar Woolly Bear too, though it might be a close relative in the Arctiinae sub-family.

 

 

 

 

 

Nice to see half a dozen butterflies out in early November.  This is a female Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme).

 

 

 

 

 

This is a female Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme) too, but the white "albino" form.

 

 

Similar, and in the same Pieridae family, this is a European Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae).

 

 

A Flower Fly (Family Syrphidae, possibly the American Hover Fly, Eupeodes americanus).  On Spotted Knapweed.(Centaurea maculosa).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sweat Bee (Family Halictidae).

 

 

Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis).

 

 

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbicularis).

 

 

November 5th.  A short walk west from Route 207. 
Starting to look wintery despite continued mild (for the season) temps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another version of the same photo.

 

 

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis_vulgaris) can be pretty... but invasive.

 

 

Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euonymus_alatus) is invasive too.

 

 

November 6th.  American Coot (Fulica americana).  First I've seen passing through the marsh in years.

 

 

November 7th.  The American Coot was still around...

 

 

...as were the resident Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

 

 

 

 

 

Optical illusion?  That's not a rock under the duck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Party crasher at the left?

 

 

November 8th.  A midday walk on the trail in the Cobalt section of Portland, CT.  This is the latest section to be restored.  When completed, it will connect to the western end of the trail in East Hampton after passing under Route 66.  Heading east from Depot Hill Road, the path includes part of the power company's access road...

 

 

...before returning to the railroad bed.

 

 

Heading towards a deep rock cut section yet to be addressed...

 

 

...the trail abruptly ends.

 

 

Currently (no pun intended), a stream runs through the rock cut.

 

 

Heading back west towards Depot Hill Road...

 

 

...I was surprised to see a single plant of Butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) in full bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

The bright yellow-green foliage is a fern bed.  To the right of it is a rock cut that hasn't been cleared yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across Depot Hill Road, continuing west on a section close to being complete.

 

 

Approaching Middle Haddam Road.

 

 

The section further west looks to be in good shape...

 

 

...but I opted to end my walk there for today.

 

 

November 9th.  A very frosty morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 11th.  Nineteen degrees.  Much of the marsh frozen over.  The Coot has moved to the north side where there's more open water.